And the question remains... how in the flippin' heck do you run a business and homeschool at the same time?
Easy. I have my children help me.
When it was just Jon and I, finishing up my bachelors degree was the goal. I had the last 18 months of school to finish with a 2 year old. That meant, when we were home in the evenings, it wasn't always play time. It was time to eat, bath, play a bit and get studying squeezed in for whatever test was coming up next.
I had to get creative to keep him occupied while I kept us fed. I had to get creative when it was time to study, too. I did have help from family, but there were still many times I was throwing a book at a 2 year old so she can "do school" with his mom so I could get enough studying in to pass the next test.
Now, he's 12 and I am running a business from home.
The same applies. I have to get creative with his schooling.
We are unschoolers. We learn through interest. If I let him solely be in control of what he learned about, it was be video gamers and right now comedians. I am sure we can find tons of information to study about the topics, but I do throw things at him that I think he **may**be interested in and see if it sparks anything. I think watching his brain in action is my favorite part of unschooling. That and learning together.
Here's an example:
I am currently working on a few trips for clients, one of them is a client traveling to Los Cabos next month. My client sent me a list of restaurants they would like to try out while visiting the area, so I figured I'd have Jon help me with some basic research to see where his mind would take him. After all, it's not something he is familiar with. So who wouldn't be curious, right?
I asked him to find out hours of operation, address, phone number and menu pricing. This is what he gave me.
Is this perfect? Absolutely not. Could he have done better? Yes.
But the goal wasn't perfection. The goal was for him to help me with my client's trip with the hopes of it leading to his curiosity to take him to a whole new area of the world.
And it worked !
He told me that some of the prices weren't easy to understand because it only said 429 and no dollar signs. I told him I bet it was in MXN (pesos). He went on to ask why the phone numbers had a +52 in front of them and some had a +1. I explained that for every country there is a country code assigned to phone numbers. The U.S. was +1, Mexico was +52. He then mentioned that the addresses were difficult to understand "so I just copied what I saw."
Now, I am sure some of you are going to say---well, this isn't "formal" schooling but the truth is-- this is a natural way of learning. The next time he sees an international denomination, address or phone number, I bet he pays close attention to it. I am more than certain I can have him research country codes and how to make calls from the US to an international country and how to make calls from the international country back home to the US. His mind will be engaged for a few hours, without a doubt. In fact, I have tons of resources saved from my business I can share with him so he can dig deeper into this.
I am here to tell you that learning doesn't have to be pretty. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be at a desk (he wrote all of this sitting on the arm of the couch from his phone while I was working). It doesn't have to be from a workbook and it certainly doesn't' have to be forced.
P.S. For our math lessons this week, I will have him learn to convert currency from one denomination to another because it's just what feels natural to me :)
As a homeschooling mom who found that her children thrived more when living life together instead of being stuck in a classroom 8 hours a day, I turned my love of travel and educating my kids into the perfect mix: unschooling.